September 28, 2012 – The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and Government Printing Office (GPO), recently unveiled Congress.gov. The new public beta site will provide free access to fact-based legislative information. Congress.gov eventually will replace the public THOMAS system and the Legislative Information System (LIS) that is accessible only to Members of Congress and their staff.
The Library launched THOMAS, named for Thomas Jefferson, in 1995 as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. The site, which tracks legislative action in both chambers of Congress, averages 10 million visits each year. The system has been updated over the years, but the foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s Internet users have come to expect, including access on mobile devices.
The Library is releasing Congress.gov as a beta site to enable a period of time for collecting user feedback and refining functionality while other content is incorporated. Other data, such as the Congressional Record, committee reports, nominations, treaties, and communications, will be incorporated over time in a planned, prioritized order. The Library anticipates Congress.gov will operate as a beta site for approximately one year as this work is completed. During that time, both THOMAS and LIS will continue to operate as usual.
Additional information is available on the Library of Congress website.
[Posted by: Erin Mosley]